Art of the treasure hunt: Showcasing leading contemporary artists in Chianti's top wineries
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Art of the treasure hunt: Showcasing leading contemporary artists in Chianti's top wineries
Robert Wilson, La Traviata for Felsina.

CHIANTI.- ART of the Treasure Hunt (1st July – 30th October 2016) launched this summer, providing an opportunity to explore and examine the powerful impact that contemporary art has when juxtaposed in a traditional setting. Work by established and emerging contemporary artists is being exhibited at seven of the leading wineries in Chianti Classico. The inaugural ART of the Treasure Hunt is the combined vision of Luziah Hennessy and her friends including APalazzo Gallery, Brescia; Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art, Düsseldorf; Galleria Fonti, Naples; Galleria Franco Noero, Torino; Galeria Nara Roesler, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Galerie Ron Mandos, Amsterdam; Gallery Sprovieri, London; Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, Paris; SLAMP and Giulia Costantini. ART of the Treasure Hunt supports the Watermill Foundation – Robert Wilson, and raise funds at a dinner and charity auction at Felsina to benefit Fondazione Tommasino Bacciotti, the Campana Institute “Mohino” project; a Sao Paulo favela and the Euro-Arab Initiative for Reconstruction & Development.

Work by established contemporary artists Anselm Kiefer, Heinz Mack, Robert Wilson, Zaha Hadid together with Isaac Julien, Pedro Cabrita Reis, Mark Handforth, Ibrahim Mahama, Giulia Piscitelli, Alexandre Suhareva and Edson Chagas is being exhibited.

Kasia Redzisz, senior curator, Tate Liverpool, is curating the art at the world-renowned wineries of Castello di Ama; Castello di Brolio; Colle Bereto; Felsina; Gagliole; Borgo San Felice and Castello di Volpaia. All of the wineries have been awarded wine ratings of between 90-98 points out of 100 by the influential wine critics Wine Spectator, Robert Parker and James Suckling.

The exact location within each of the wineries has been carefully chosen in order to highlight the powerful combination between each setting and the artwork. This affords the visitor the chance to not only appraise and see the work in a different light but also to reassess the impact and drama that the immediate surrounding has on the work.

Castello di Ama – founded in 1972, this 80 hectare estate is the vision of owners Marco Pallanti, the oenologist and his wife Lorenza Sebasti, the CEO. Each year the winery produces between 300,000-350,000 bottles of wine and 9,000 bottles of olive oil. Over the years the owners have commissioned an outstanding collection of in situ contemporary art. The work of renowned German artist, Anselm Kiefer, courtesy of Paris’s Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac, has been placed amongst Ama’s permanent collection.

Castello di Brolio – located on top of an isolated hill a few kilometers from Gaiole, the castle has been owned since 1141 by the Ricasolis, one of the oldest aristocratic families in Italy. It is famous for its winery as well as renowned gardens and an arms museum. A beautiful white gold monolithic work by Heinz Mack, co-founder of the ZERO movement, is being shown by Dusseldorf’s Beck & Eggeling. Mack participated in both Documenta II (1959) and Documenta III (1966) and represented Germany in the 1970 Venice Biennale. The central theme of Mack’s work is light.

Colle Bereto – owned and operated by the Pinzauti family for over thirty years, where 37 hectares of land are devoted to grape growing. Artist Isaac Julien is showing three light boxes from his West Union Series alongside a photograph from his film Ten Thousand Waves. Work by the Moscow artist Alexandre Suhareva, who participated in Documenta (2015) and Manifesta 10 (2014), represented by APallazzo Gallery, is being displayed.

Felsina – situated in the hills, north east of Siena, this celebrated winery was built around a medieval courtyard and boasts a wonderful cantina. In Roman times, Felsina – which means “hosting pilgrims” – was part of the pilgrim route Via Francigena leading to Rome. In 1730, Felsina became a cellar, and in 2016 celebrates 50 years under the Poggiali family. Each year the winery produces between 480,000-520,000 bottles of wine. The theme at Felsina is Let There Be Light. Mark Handforth, an American artist represented by Galleria Franco Noero, created a site-specific outdoor sculpture. A new light work, La Traviata by Robert Wilson, produced by SLAMP, which was presented at Salone de Mobile, Milan in April 2016, is on view. In addition, iconic Portuguese artist, Pedro Cabrita Reis, who represented Portugal at the Venice Biennale in 2003 and has participated at five Biennale, displays a light sculpture, London Angle, courtesy of Gallery Sprovieri.

Gagliole – a small gem of a winery, owned by Thomas and Monika Bar of Zurich, with the original estate dating back to 994 AD, comprising two properties that sit among the soft rolling hills of Castellina and Panzano that use the grapes from both estates to make Gagliole wines. It is at Panzano that Neapolitan artist Giulia Piscitelli, represented by Galleria Fonti, is showcasing her work.

Borgo San Felice – one of the most respected names in Chianti Classico, is part of a large winery with vineyards in different parts of Tuscany. This medieval village is now a Relais & Chateaux hotel surrounded by 140 hectares of vineyards. In homage to Zaha Hadid, her two monochrome pendant lamps, Aria and Avia, designed for SLAMP, and presented at Salone del Mobile, Milan in 2013 are being displayed. The young Ghanaian artist Ibrahim Mahama shows a work from his jute sack installation, courtesy of APalazzo Gallery, exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015.

Castello di Volpaia – located in the heart of the Chianti Classico region is a fortified village of medieval origin. Within its walls is the highest elevated winery in the region, owned and operated by Carlo Mascheroni and Giovanna Stianti. Isaac Julien is showing a video projection and photographs from his 2015 series, Stones against Diamonds, shot in the remote glacial caves in the south west of Iceland and seen at the 56th Venice Biennale. Galeria Nara Roesler and Galerie Ron Mandos represent him. The Angolan photographer Edson Chagas, represented by APalazzo Gallery, is showing work from his Found Not Taken series that was presented in Angola’s first pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, and which won the prestigious Lion d’Or for best national pavilion.

All of the art works can be seen in the wineries from 1st July until 30th October 2016.

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